How Long Does It Take for the Dentist to Whiten Teeth?
Written By: Dr. Michael Richer
If you’ve noticed your smile isn’t looking as bright and white as it could, you may want to consider teeth whitening. Perhaps you’ve started by looking in the toothpaste aisle at your local supermarket to find whitening toothpaste or whitening strips.
However, those aren’t the best ways to brighten and whiten. Over-the-counter methods may take weeks or months to deliver the slightest results. If you want to see noticeable results that really give you something to smile about, you’ll want to ask your dentist about teeth whitening options.
Generally, your dentist can complete teeth whitening for you in just one office visit. It will depend on how deeply stained your teeth are and a few other factors.
What to Know About In-Office Teeth Whitening
In most cases, teeth whitening will take about an hour, though it could take a little longer. It’s worth sitting in that chair for such a long time considering that these results can last up to two years or more. Some patients may need additional whitening, which can make the treatment take about an hour and a half.
How long your results will last will depend on your lifestyle choices. If you drink a lot of coffee or red wine, or you smoke, you may not find that these results last as long. You’ll need to plan on having your teeth whitened more frequently under those circumstances. You should discuss your habits with your dentist to determine the best way to keep your smile looking white and bright.
How Does the Teeth Whitening Process Work?
The teeth whitening process will depend on what your dentist uses for the treatment. Many dentists use Zoom! Teeth Whitening, a professional-grade whitening that utilizes a type of peroxide to break up yellow stains.
Because it is a clinical product for dental professionals to apply, you get better results than you would at home. Your results are also much more uniform and noticeable. You may only need one session, or you may need to come back for additional whitening appointments, depending on the color of your teeth.
The process can take about an hour and starts with the application of peroxide gel. Your teeth are then exposed to a special light that activates the gel. This effectively eliminates the stains from your teeth.
Your dentist will take great care to only target your teeth in this exposure by protecting your gums and lips. Having your teeth professionally whitened at your dentist’s office is a great option that can restore your confidence in your smile.
If you have crowns, veneers, or other types of restorative dental work, you can get professional whitening too. It is safe for all of these items, though if you have any questions, you should speak with your dentist first.
How Does Teeth Whitening at the Dentist’s Office Compare to At-Home Methods?
Many people are tempted to try those home whitening kits. They are certainly a much cheaper alternative. However, there are greater risks to doing it at home. Overexposure to the ingredients in these at-home whitening products can damage your teeth.
Whitening strips and other at-home whitening products don’t have enough of the whitening ingredients needed to effectively whiten your teeth. Additionally, adhesive strips and whitening gels tend to give you an uneven whitening experience. It’s also difficult to get the teeth in the back of your mouth on your own. Plus, the ingredients in at-home kits can irritate your gums.
You can get results from whitening toothpastes, however, this will take a long time. You will have to consistently use those types of toothpaste to see any difference. In the long run, it makes much more sense to schedule a teeth whitening session with your dentist and get those noticeable results in a quicker, safer way.
With the help of your dentist, you get much more than a whiter, brighter smile. You regain confidence and look years younger.
How Quickly Can Your Teeth Be Whitened by the Dentist?
While a session for teeth whitening will take approximately one hour, it may require more time to get the whitest smile. The amount of time it takes to lighten your teeth will depend on the discoloration of your teeth. The good news is that even if you need further in-office whitening treatments, you will notice drastic results immediately.
Some people will only need one office visit for whitening their teeth while others will need 10 visits or more. But don’t worry as this procedure is very safe, and you’ll leave the dentist with a smile that is upwards of three full shades brighter than when you first walked in.
What Follow-Up Care Is Required at Home?
Depending on the color of your teeth when you first start whitening with your dentist, you may need to use follow-up methods at home to keep your teeth whiter for longer. Your dentist may give you customized trays with professional gel in them. Apply them as the dentist instructs you to keep up your whiter, brighter smile.
How Much Faster Is Teeth Whitening In-Office Compared to At-Home Methods?
Comparing in-office teeth whitening to at-home methods is like comparing apples to oranges. You’ll certainly pay more to have your dentist whiten your teeth, but your results will speak for themselves. You’ll also avoid uneven brightening on your smile and endure less exposure to whitening chemicals when you have your dentist perform professional whitening.
In-office teeth whitening treatments are safe and effective, though the dentist you choose matters, too. Make sure you work with a dentist who has plenty of experience with teeth whitening.
In Hicksville, NY, the dentists at R+R Dental use Zoom! Teeth Whitening to brighten up smiles. If you need a dentist near Plainview, Westbury, Bethpage, Jericho, Meadow, Levittown, call R+R Dental today to schedule a teeth whitening session.